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The Cinema of Alexander SokurovFigures of Paradox$
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Jeremi Szaniawski

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231167352

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231167352.001.0001

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The (Im)Possibility of an Island

The (Im)Possibility of an Island

Chapter:
(p.278) Conclusion The (Im)Possibility of an Island
Source:
The Cinema of Alexander Sokurov
Author(s):

Jeremi Szaniawski

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231167352.003.0018

This concluding chapter examines the motif of the island that inhabits the life and works of Russian director Alexander Sokurov. In 2009, Sokurov published a book in Italy, released in Russia in 2012. The book, In the Centre of the Ocean, also speaks to the insular motif. This poetic memoir includes short scripts, fragments of correspondence and entries from Sokurov's diaries, and may be considered an internal monologue—a monologue of the artist with and about himself and, maybe more importantly, with posterity. Here Sokurov conveys his deep sense of seriousness and asceticism while also coming forth as a brilliant sensualist, and combining the perceptive insight of an old and experienced person with the enthusiasm and opinionated stances of a child. The book features several scripts, in literary form, including that of Alexandra. Sokurov is as much a unique and full individual as he is a paradoxical figure, a man of conflict and of dialogue, an artist of international scope and a quintessentially Russian man. This paradoxical, dual, contradictory nature is coextensive with Sokurov's cinema.

Keywords:   island, Alexander Sokurov, In the Centre of the Ocean, memoir, diaries, asceticism, cinema

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